GILMER, Texas (KETK) — Losing in back-to-back state title games has left a bad taste in the Buckeyes’ mouths and added fuel to their fire, and this year’s squad is much younger than years past.

“Year in and year out we have guys that people may not know in the stands that are about to take the place of those guys who are graduating and we expect big things from them, they know that, and they’re excited because they know it’s their turn,” explains head coach Alan Metzel.

The Tennison name stays under center as younger brother Cadon takes over as the starting quarterback for his brother Brandon who graduated last season.

“I have been working out a lot, been working on my speed, throwing, and my accuracy,” said Tennison. “He’s been helping me a lot, and he makes sure I’m calm during practice and stuff, and it helps me a lot.”

“He is sitting there with his pencil and writing his notes in the meeting room, and he understands that he’s got to grasp this thing mentally in order to be able to get on that field and do great things,” exclaims Metzel.

Gilmer’s skill guys like running back Ashton Haynes and Rohan Fuellen are looking to help take some pressure off their young quarterback.

“It’s like, easier with them around me because they know everything,” declares Tennison.

“We’re telling him to take it easy because we know its a big load on him since he is a younger guy and all the pressure is on him but, we’re telling him to keep it calm and collected, and I think he will do what he does best,” says Haynes.

There may have been quite a bit of turnover on the buckeye roster, but in Gilmer, they make sure to leave the program better than they found it.

“That’s part of what as a coach makes you proud is when you see them begin to get it, and they’re trying to instill that into the younger kids,” explains Metzel.

Gilmer looks to retool and reload to make a third straight state championship run and hopefully, this time, return with the hardware.